Video shot by boaters shows a floating restaurant in flames
It sometimes seems like a week doesn’t go by without a restaurant closure in the Fort Worth/Tarrant area. In July, that was close to true, with more than a half-dozen noteworthy closures — although at least one is already planning a comeback, and a comeback is probably impossible at another. Here’s a recap.
Eagle Mountain Tavern
The Lake Country restaurant, which came from notable Tarrant chef Brian Olenjack, closed in early July after only eight months in business, Star-Telegram “Eats Beat” columnist Bud Kennedy noted on Twitter. The shutdown came not long after the late-June closure of neighbor Flight on Eagle Mountain Lake.
BBQ on the Brazos
The popular Cresson restaurant, ranked one of Texas Monthly magazine’s Top 50 in Texas and the highest-rated for barbecue in the Fort Worth area, closed abruptly July 11 after five years in the Texaco Plaza on U.S. 377 between Fort Worth and Granbury. Owner John Sanford later told Bud Kennedy that he will reopen Sept. 1 — in a trailer next to his old location at 9005 U.S. 377 East. “The new restaurant will be next door to competitor Rooster’s Bar-B-Q, a former Nashville and Granbury restaurant owned by former ‘Man v. Food’ pitmaster Rooster Beane,” Kennedy wrote of the incoming tenant at Texaco Plaza.
Duffey’s Kolache Shop
The far north Fort Worth kolache shop, which had spanned six years in two separate locations, closed July 15, according to CultureMap Fort Worth. The website reported that founder Erin Duffey, who had been a pilot for 25 years, decided to return to the friendly skies. “He’s now flying for FedEx, but he says he may consider reopening at a future date if his kids want to start it up,” the website says.
Chop House Burgers
The two-time DFW.com Battle of the Burgers runner-up came to an anticlimactic end around July 19, when a notice of lockout sign was posted on the door. The Pantego restaurant put Arlington on the national foodie map when it was featured in an episode of Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-In’s & Dives,” and moved from its original Park Row Drive location to a larger one just a few blocks west in 2015.
Since then, founder Kenny Mills sold the restaurant; he now manages Cooper’s Meat Market, a butcher shop/steakhouse in the Sylvan Thirty development in west Dallas, and is no longer associated with Chop House Burgers. The closing does not affect the similarly named but unrelated Chop House Burger in Dallas, Fort Worth and Euless, or the also-unrelated Mercury Chophouse in Fort Worth and Arlington.
The Eagle Mountain Lake “floating restaurant,” perhaps best known from its days as Boon-Docks, had already closed when it was destroyed in a July 23 fire. Rockin’ S Bar & Grill, a North Texas chain known for its lakeside restaurants, was reportedly planning to open a location in that space.
After nearly five years in a Trail Lake Drive location where Hot Tub’s Back Porch Grotto and the Pop’s Burgers came and went, the “Flori-Mex-ibbean” R.J. Gator’s also called it quits, saying in a Facebook post announcing the closure that the landlords wanted to sell the property.